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Why it’s time to be proactive with cyber insurance

Why it’s time to be proactive with cyber insurance | Insurance Business UK

Why it’s time to be proactive with cyber insurance
The word ‘cyber’ has been at the forefront of many insurers’ minds this year, particularly as high-profile attacks, such as WannaCry and Petya, which hit businesses across the globe, seemed to just keep on coming.

But while cyber insurance is a hot topic, it’s not necessarily one that’s well-understood. As hackers grow increasingly sophisticated and as technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, there is a lot for the insurance industry to take in.

Insurance Business spoke to Rachel Anne Carter, recently appointed cyber innovation underwriter at AmTrust at Lloyd’s (ATL) and co-founder of the Journal of Terrorism & Cyber Insurance, about how the industry should be future-proofing itself.

The industry must continually work hard at understanding what is clearly a fast-paced landscape, according to Carter, who had previously held positions with Tokio Marine Kiln and Pool Re.

“There is an educational piece here,” she said. “As insurers we are very good at writing business, but because cyber is an evolving threat we need to keep educating ourselves to be at the forefront of understanding the risk, so that we can educate our clients in turn and make sure that they are aware of their risks and exposures.

“It’s really important for our cyber team to be sure that what we are selling is understood, and also that clients have an understanding of what their needs are and what types of products are available, so that they can then make an informed choice as to what coverage they obtain.”

As evidenced by the numerous high-profile malware and ransomware attacks during 2017, the threat of a cyberattack is no longer just a concern for the big boys – and cybersecurity is finally climbing the ladder of business priorities.

“There has been a shift from thinking of cyber as a problem that’s pushed down to the IT professionals in the basement, to this now being a problem that needs to be addressed by managers, senior managers, and members of the board,” Carter said.

The potential for directors and board members to face liability is also having an effect: “That’s motivating people to look at what their risks are, to think about what their whole response to cyber is,” she explained.

ATL’s cyber team, in which Carter sits, is working not just on education, but on positioning itself as a thought-leader and innovator within the space, the underwriter said.

“What we are trying to do is to be proactive, and to think forward about what types of cyber risks are relevant now, but also what types of cyber risks could be relevant to our clients in the future,” Carter commented.

“We are looking at a more holistic future of cyber, both in terms of the economic protection provided by an insurance policy, but also in making sure that if a business is attacked, it can still keep going.”

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